Lizzie and David had baths, then bed. I read them a story, choosing something light and fun to counteract the somber, melancholy feeling I was experiencing from that man’s words. My children told me they loved me and apologized. I frowned at them. “Why are you saying you’re sorry? You did nothing wrong.”
“That man kicked us out and the old guy was mean,” Lizzie said astutely.
“He was mean but he was also very wrong,” I explained. “He said things that weren’t right because he didn’t know the whole situation. Did it hurt me? Hurt Marie? Yes, but we need to move on. However, you need to know that it was not your fault. It wasn’t Marie’s fault. If anything, that man was at fault because of his prejudice.”
“What’s poopy juice?” David asked.
“Prejudice is when you look at something and make an opinion without knowing the facts,” I said trying to define it terms that my children could understand. “Now, I’m tired. Mommy needs to shower and then go to bed.”
“Love you, Mommy,” they both chirped. David blew a raspberry onto my cheek before skipping to his bedroom. Lizzie cuddled with me before I got up and kissed her forehead. I checked on Marie who was still down for the count. I showered and climbed into bed. The house phone rang. I checked the caller ID. It was Esme.
“I wanted to see how you were faring,” Esme said kindly. “What that man did was abhorrent.”
“We’re fine. Marie crashed from the emotional turmoil of the day. David and Lizzie apologized, like it was there fault. Oooh, Esme, I was so fucking pissed at him. I’m a good mother. Aren’t I?”
“Bella, you’re an amazing mother,” Esme crooned. “Marie’s growth attests to that. Not many women would walk away from their careers to care for their children. Also, Lizzie and David are angels. Yes, they have their bratty moments but they are loving, well-adjusted, sweet children.”